An interesting phenomenon in the world of erotic fiction is the growth of gay erotic fiction among female readers. Many women, if given the choice between reading straight erotica or gay male erotica, prefer gay erotica; lesbian erotica, however, hasn’t enjoyed the same level of success among straight women. Straight women, unless they have a strong bisexual bent, don’t have an overwhelming interest in lesbian erotica and it continues to be a small niche literary market.
While lesbian pornography continues to stimulate straight males visually and has a huge worldwide audience, most men don’t seem interested in reading spicy Sapphic novels. Unlike lesbian erotica, male on male, i.e. M/M erotica, continues to engage a large following, and entices authors, some male, some female, to write their own novels. Ménage, another popular sub-genre, involves two hunky guys sexually servicing one woman. The sexual situations go far beyond traditional “vanilla” boundaries, and include large amounts of kink and BDSM. Hungry readers gobble it up.
Along with male writers, a number of female authors, including Evangeline Anderson, K.A. Mitchell, Lorelei James, Emma Holly, T. A. Chase, J. L. Langley, and LB Gregg, write gay male erotica and have large female followings. Why you might ask? Blogger, Tori Benson, a straight female reader wrote an interesting post on her preference of M/M erotica over traditional male/female erotic romances. She tired of the trepidation and neuroses that often accompanies hetero works by authors like Sylvia Day, and switched to the gay erotic.
As Benson noted, “My number one reason (for loving gay erotica) is the lack of deep, dark emotional angst. Often when erotica involves a female, there is some sort of dark issue in her past that must be resolved in order for the relationship to progress. Often, the focus shifts to the issue and we spend an awfully long time working on that, and not enough time on the relationship. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t just want meaningless sex. But I also don’t want a storyline that drags me into the abyss with the heroine.”
Writer Evelyn Shepherd, author of several gay romances, recently shared her views on the subject. “The first LGBT book I ever read was Christopher Rice’s A Density of Souls. That was the first time I realized there was an actual market for LGBT. I didn’t have any clue about erotica at that time, because that was back in high school. After a few failed attempts at writing urban fantasy and attempting to get it published, I picked up The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson. After I read it, I decided I wanted to write this. I’m a huge supporter of LGBT rights, I enjoy writing male characters, and at the time I didn’t know of any urban fantasy m/m authors. I thought, well shucks! I could be that author. I really can’t say why women enjoy M/M erotica. I think we all like erotica because it allows us to experience our fantasies (sometimes dark fantasies), which we don’t always have the ability to try. Books, no matter what genre, are an outlet for the imagination. I think the lure of M/M is that it’s something we’ll never have the power to try, and there’s something fascinating about it. There’s also the part of you that wants to see a happy ending for two men, which you don’t always get in real life. Plus, let’s face it, two guys going at it is hot as hell.”
The additional bonus for the female reader of gay erotica? She gets two hot men and possibly more for the price of one.
I’ve recently spoke to author, Jace Payne, author of hot gay erotic romances, is a proud New Englander living in the heart of the south. When other kids were involved in sports and gaming, Jace had retreated into literature. He discovered his love for writing when he entered college. His early works, short stories for class, escalated to a blog, featuring short erotic fiction.
Dark South: Shifter, a novel set in the Deep South, marked Jace’s entry into the world of homoerotic romance. Jace’s passions lie within the world of the supernatural: werewolves, feisty witches, and unpredictable ghosts. If they lurk in the shadows, you can safely assume they will appear in his writing. No creature is safe. Jace set his most recent novel, Equinox, (Secrets of Salem), in his native Massachusetts, and wrote about the mingling of witches and mortals.
The difference between Jace’s work and many writers of paranormal fiction is that he combines the paranormal with explicit gay sexuality. Dark South: Shifter and Equinox (Secrets of Salem) are prime examples of one of the hottest commodities in erotic fiction, M/M erotica. The sexual content is potent, dark, and not for those unaccustomed to novels dealing with ménage and unbridled sexuality. Dark South: Shifter moves deftly from paranormal to erotica and back again. Payne creates a universe peopled with personalities of all stripes and colors, characters that will eventually have their own novels in the future.
Q: You’ve been writing for quite a while. What made you switch from short pieces to novels? What writers do you read?
A: When I had my blog, quite a few of my readers suggested I write a novel. At the time, I was only writing short erotic stories that I posted on a weekly basis. So, one day, I decided to explore the available options in the erotic romance world—which is when I discovered Loose Id.
Currently, my favorite authors are Christopher Rice, Michael Craft, and Dan Brown. Although Brown writes in a different genre, I adore his ability to weave a complex story while maintaining the reader’s attention. Christopher Rice has been writing for many years, but he has just stepped into the world of erotic romance. I applaud him for his willingness to explore something new. He’s done a wonderful job, which continues to inspire me as a writer.”
Q: Every writer has a daily routine – What is yours?
A: My daily routine fluctuates. It’s never the same. However, I never write first thing in the morning. I give myself time to wake up, get this done around the house, and relax. I only begin writing when I feel that I can sit and devote 100% of my attention to the task at hand. Otherwise, I’ll just stare at the screen and get nothing done.
Q: You mentioned a love of the paranormal. Have you written a paranormal novel without elements of erotica? Might one be in your future? A: Not as of yet. The paranormal is my field of expertise, so it’s what I love to explore in my novels. Although this doesn’t mean I will never write a contemporary novel, or one of a different genre. I’ve always been one to branch out and try new things. Keeping myself isolated to a single area is a pet-peeve of mine. I see no reason in limiting myself with so many options available.
Q: Fifty Shades of Grey and e-book reading devices like the Kindle opened the world of erotica for a lot of women. M/M erotica seems to be a huge turn on for straight women. Can you talk to that?
A: Honestly, I think straight women are drawn to the intensity and raw sexuality of M/M erotic romance. It has a unique energy that sets it apart from M/F stories, for obvious reasons. While some don’t understand their interest in gay novels, I think it’s great that they can find pleasure reading stories that differ from what they experience, sexually, in real life.
Q: Which erotic writers do you read? What authors of the paranormal do you prefer?
A: Christopher Rice is my favorite erotic romance author—along with his mother, Anne Rice. In all honesty, even though I write in this genre, I haven’t read very many erotic romance novels. I have read The New Orleans Hothouse, which is a M/F novel by Lee Rene, and love it. The main reason for not reading more of my chosen genre isn’t from a lack of interest. Truthfully, I’d love to discover more erotic romance authors, but most of my time is spent writing. I’m a relatively new author, so I’m still focused on building my own career, which is quite time consuming—but in a good way.
Q: What is your advice to writers just beginning their careers?
A: Start with a positive attitude. You can’t become an author if you don’t believe in yourself. If you want to be a writer, the best thing to do is to write, every day. Also, don’t forget to read as often as you can. I don’t get to read as much as I’d like, yet I still find time to get lost in a book. The more you read, the easier the writing process becomes.
Find out more about Jace at http://www.jacepayne.com/
Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/thejacepayne
Order Shifter at http://www.amazon.com/Shifter-Dark-South-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RWGKWYE
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